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another one?? RAMEN JINYA is here! studio city gets ramen, finally. and it's good. (nano-review)

first mottainai, now ramen jinya! i can barely keep up, but keep up i shall, as yet another ramen shop has opened up in LA. jinya in studio city has been soft-open since july 3rd; when i went they were still installing stuff to the furniture.

i have no bones about reviewing it early though, because frankly, the place rocks, a ramen shop in a similar vein to ramen california in torrance, with a full complement of organic side dishes and a healthy chicken soup namesake bowl.

traditionalists take note, however. the special on the day i went was a very authentic wafu tonkotsu ramen, and it's pretty much what you'd find in tokyo, loaded with bonito and even fish powder, which gives the soup a nice gritty texture. i'm digging this place for sure, and it's right near where i used to work. arrgh. if only it had opened a year ago lol...

http://www.rameniac.com/reviews/comme...

*btw apologies to gourmetpilot, who beat me by like, hours posting a thread on this place, but i wanted to put the name of the restaurant in the title. check out his CH post for some nice pics as well!*

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  1. Warning to anyone going out tonight, they are CLOSED Wednesdays. I saw Gourmet Pilot's review earlier, but when I stopped by, was shocked that Wednesday is the day of the week they're closed. Who closes on a Wednesday? (though I can understand that, competitively)

    The shop looks Lovely, the menu had my mouth watering, and thankfully there is a ton of easily accessible parking in the lot below the Studio City Place strip mall Jinya is part of. Parkings not always easy on Ventura blvd, especially, if like me, you never have any change other than loose pennies rolling around your car.

    I was totally thwarted in my attempt to eat here, sadly. :(

    regular hours are 11-9 Thursday-Tuesday.

    There is a sign up that says: Cash Only until 7/15 so YMMV on being able to use cards this weekend.

    so it was a good thing I didn't go anyway, as I never carry physical cash, either.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jadekarrde

      is wednesday their official off-day? i spoke with the guy on the phone (although his english is not the greatest) and he seemed to indicate that their off day will be sunday, once the regular schedule is in effect.

      japanese restaurants do often have a tendency to pick a random day of the week to close. to avoid further confusion, i'd simply stay tuned for the time being. i'll try to find out tomorrow!

      1. re: rameniac

        After hearing about this new Ramen House I chose to give it a try. I walked in around 5:30 on a Friday night and only 2 others were having dinner. I was hoping to start with an order of Gyozo just as another person wrote above they didn't have that ready yet. I chose the special soup:

        Tonkotsu and Bonito Borth soup with Chashu (Flavored Pork) along with Egg

        My thoughts, sure it was delicious but what else can I say, guess I'm not
        much of a ramen lover.

        I love soup as the start of a meal and since I wasn't that hungry tonight
        just a simple bowl of soup hit the spot.

        If I was hungry and this was my entire meal then I would of wanted something else too.

        Give it a try,

        Stuart

         
        1. re: rameniac

          I was there and they said Sunday was the day off. That is too bad because I would go back there today if they were open.

          Good noodles, excellent broth. They were out of Gyoza, but we had a Tofu and Corn Salad that was very tasty. I thought the service was good, but they weren't very crowded when we were there.

          I'm very excited about having a good ramen place close to me. I'm sure I will be eating there often.

          1. re: rameniac

            There were a good 7-8 parties dining while I was there today for lunch. Hours posted are 11AM-10PM. Closed Sundays (for now) but will eventually open 7 days a week, per the Chef. They just hired wait staff who will start soon (that explains the kinks in food delivery and service). THRILLED to finally have good ramen in the Valley and not have to drive out everytime to Santouka. Ordered the Chashu Ramen with Tonkotsu broth, gyoza and salad combo. The broth was delicious. The chashu was good (I prefer my ramen to be accompanied by the special pork at Santouka). Will order the noodles firm next time. Gyoza was great too. Credit cards now accepted. They are located in the plaza with a Marshalls, on the north side of Ventura Blvd, between Vineland and Tujunga. There are a few metered parking spots along Ventura Blvd, a small lot at street level, and plenty of underground parking. Will be returning soon to try more!

            1. re: miss chai latte

              thanks for the update! my god that's so close

              1. re: miss chai latte

                After reading this post, went down there today (saturday) around 4 only to be turned away as they are closed between lunch and dinner. I didn't catch what time they close but they open again to serve dinner at 5pm. Oh well, will try again later.

                1. re: macnut

                  Went for lunch yesterday and they told me they close between 3pm-5pm (although the posted hours do not reflect this). Also, dine-in lunch begins at 11:30am while their take-out menu begins at 11:00am. The gyoza was not on the lunch menu yesterday as a combo choice with ramen...

          2. WOW, a ramen joint 5 minutes away from me?!

            Be there soon!

            1. Checked out Jinya this evening; good addition to the area but I think they are still working out the kinks. Got there about 8:30 but they had already run out of chasu :( and when my noodles arrived they apparently had also run out of hard boiled eggs and chicken meatballs for the Jinya ramen. While they substituted with good quality chicken, I still need my Chasu!!!

              Anyway I tried what I think is the wafu ramen and enjoyed the pronounced bonito infused broth, nice alternative from the more typical pork broths.

              They also seemed to be having trouble keeping up with orders which surprised me since the broth is ready and all you're really cooking are the noodles. Will probably let a month go by for them to work out the kinks before I return.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sgee

                Went there yesterday for dinner and they were clearly overwhelmed. The noodles were still good, but I don't even want to say how long it took. It was a bit painful to watch them in the kitchen. I think the combination of good buzz and a JGold review were a bit much.

                Hopefully they will get the service together. I am very excited about having a good ramen place just over the hill from me. I was so excited last weekend eating at Ramen Jinya AND Ramen Mottainai! Two great new places.

                -----
                Ramen Mottainai
                1630 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Suite #9, Gardena, CA 90247

                Ramen Jinya
                11239 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                1. re: bsquared2

                  http://www.laweekly.com/2010-07-22/ea...

                  Well, looks like I won't be able to check this out for a few weeks afterall

                  ""You know a lot about food,'' wrote the future noodle-blogger Rameniac when he was still in high school. "But you will never know as much about ramen as I do.''"

                  AHAHHAHA

                  1. re: ns1

                    i guess the ramen freaks have surpassed the hainanese chicken freaks. i knew something about that review sounded familiar.

                    http://www.laweekly.com/2009-09-03/ea...

              2. Thanks for the recommendation rameniac!! Went there today and the food is delicious!! The Chashu Bowl was especially tasty with near-perfectly roasted pork... tonkatsu broth was probably the best I've had in town (equal to or even superior to Daikokuya).

                They're also opening a Japanese BBQ restaurant called Robata Jinya near the corner of Crescent Heights and 3rd next month as soon as they get their liquor license.

                -----
                Daikokuya
                327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                1. Gave it a go after the opening.

                  Ordered Tonkatsu, not busy by any means. My ramen came up fast and the people were nice but this wasn't exactly a stress test.

                  The the table next to me had got their order and it was wrong but they were troopers and kept it anyway. I probably would have done the same thing since I could enjoy pretty much anything on the menu.

                  One of the waitresses was indifferent towards a menu question which I found odd for a new place that should be on their toes.
                  All she had to do was ask the cook ten feet over from her for the answer but she didn't.

                  The Tonkatsu bowl was good and almost too rich. If I would knock anything it was the presentation.
                  My bowl was kinda sloppy but I'd rather have a tasty sloppy looking ramen then a great looking but poor tasting ramen.

                  Will go back for sure and try other items.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: burntwater

                    "Tonkatsu" is a fried pork cutlet. What you had was "Ton-kotsu" -- a soup made from pork bones. This is a rather rich soup with tons of pork flavor.

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Thanks Tripeler, yes you got me what I was thinking and what I was typing were completely different.

                      My very , very bad....J gold may have a point...

                      Thanks for the clarification.

                      Good on you......

                      1. re: burntwater

                        No big deal, quite a common mistake.

                  2. Not a review as I didn't eat here. This ramen shop doesn't serve ramen from 3-5pm. What!?!? At least close then - don't try to steer me on to the rocks of your frightening sushi menu.

                    I just got an overall sense of no one having a firm hand on the rudder as soon as I came in. Staff lazing about at tables throughout the restaurant. Fine if you're closed... Seems like whoever is steering this ship needs to spend a few years as a midshipman in ramennapolis.

                    1. went yesterday (yes they are open on wednesdays now, despite the sign that said closed wednesdays the day I went (which was the day in between their soft opening and official opening, apparently).

                      First, a word on the gyoza. I've been in search of acceptable gyoza since my Japanese friend moved to Pennslyvania. not that she made her own, she just did what her mom did (which was use frozen gyoza) and despite having watched and help her make the gyoza dozens of times I could never replicate it. Never had any gyoza in a restaurant that even approached what she did with TJs gyoza, Ramen Jinya's gyoza are every bit as good (finally gyoza with the right fried/steamed quality, moist, plump and pure delicious!). Final verdict, these are better than my friends because you can taste the freshness.

                      I got the tonkotsu ramen, delicious pork broth, with a dark roasted quality to it. I was kicking myself when I picked up the menu on the way out, it had three options on the tonkotsu broth, with one of them being to order it rich. None of this in the menu you're handed (which is honestly the crummiest menu I've ever been handed in a restaurant, stapled plastic sheets and a spring clip? really? really lame). The noodles in this ramen are really excellent, a bit more green onion than a like, the egg was an egg, the chashu was the best chashu of any ramen I've tasted in LA, better than Santouka's chashu, but not better than Santoukas special pork. It really melted in your mouth in the best way and it had a rich, roasted quality to it that was almost bacon like in it's great mouthfeel.

                      Overall, I really want to go back and try the chicken wonton ramen. :) My main complaint is that the bowl is much to big, as I'm adjusted to eating a small size at Santouka, and I'm not a big fan of being served a mixing bowl full of soup.

                      On the other hand I ate it all no problems and drained that superb broth almost shockingly fast. :D

                      -----
                      Santouka
                      3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                      Ramen Jinya
                      11239 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jadekarrde

                        I have been there twice, both times at noon on Tuesday, and was informed each time that they were out of Gyoza. ??????????? I also think their service stinks, from a waitress who got my order wrong both times, to a kitchen that seemed overwhelmed by a large crowd. The ramen however, was excellent. The Tonkatsu broth was every bit as good as Ippudo's in NYC, and jinya is a lot closer.

                        1. re: pizzafreak

                          They were out of Gyoza when I went as well. I wonder if they "run out" when the crowd gets busy and the kitchen is overwhelmed.

                          I agree with the Tonkatsu broth... absolutely delicious!!!

                      2. OMG! Finally made it here tonight and it was absolutely amazing! had Tonkotsu w/Rich broth and hard noodles... Heavenly. The broth tasted like pork gravy, it was incredible. The pork melted like cotton candy in your mouth. So going back again.

                        1. I went again, and tried a few more things. They now had 'combo' specials and so I quickly combined the curry bowl with ramen, because I could smell the curry and it was tantalizing. The curry was fantastic. They also had a special of the day, rich tonkotsu, but I passed on that and got the jinya ramen instead. I did take advantage of the other special which was a chashu bowl, because I knew I wasn't going to be back for quite a while and the chashu was quite good last time.

                          But man, that curry, like the goyoza on my first visit, it was the curry that blew me away this time, just a mouth bomb of perfect flavors and textures.

                          The ramen jinya is pretty good, I was not as taken with the chicken broth as I was with their tonkotsu broth. the chicken balls were quite tasty and the chashu-esque slices of chicken breast were tender and delicious.

                          the chashu bowl was overwhelming. The chashu by itself is so intense (and without the soup muting it, I picked up that it was shoyu that gives it that smoky salty almost bacon like intensity) that I don't think it really works. It's still delicious, but better in the soup than on its own.